[Marxism] Re: "The National Question" in the UPFJ-ANSWER Debacle is an Epic Farce"

Bonnie Weinstein giobon at sbcglobal.net
Thu Aug 4 16:23:10 MDT 2005

Louis Writes:

To take full advantage of the openings presented by the UfPJ, which through
> its connections to USLAW has the possibility of connecting with the
> AFL-CIO, it requires a different kind of radical movement than which exists
> today. The first requirement would be to study "Out Now" by Fred Halstead,
> which was probably the most important contribution to strategic thinking
> made by the Trotskyist movement outside of Farrell Dobbs's books on the
> Teamsters. Someday those lessons might be relearned by the left. The sooner
> the better.

Have you seen this from USLAW? This is nothing more that courting liberal
Democrats--just what the labor bureaucracy is expert at.

Louis wrote:

I think the operative principle here is the "domino theory". If the Iraqis
prove capable of driving out the USA in the same way that the Vietnamese
drove out them out, it will unleash insurrectionary tendencies throughout
the Middle East. Insurgents in power in Baghdad would most likely provide
material aid to the Palestinians. They would be on a collision course with
the Saudi feudal bourgeoisie as well. I advocate doing everything possible
to hasten this process. This would be of vastly more use to the Palestinian
cause than an ANSWER-led protest which by its very nature will not be able
to affect either the war in Iraq or the Zionist state.

I agree with you here that the defeat of the U.S. In Iraq would be a great
impetus to the struggle for Palestinian liberation. But why is being silent
about Palestine now going to hasten this process? And, you still do not
answer the argument that the UFPJ and USLAW are orienting primarily to the
liberal wing of the Democratic Party, including Jesse Jackson, who is in
favor of bringing back the draft! How in the hell is that going to help
anyone or further the opposition to the war?

And now USLAW is using the term "rapid withdrawal of U.S. Troops" instead of
"Bring the troops home now"--in other words--they have moved to the right in
this debate if this newsletter can stand as an example.

U.S. Labor Against the War NEWS


Excerpted in this issue are:


1. Tour of Iraqi Labor Leaders Gives American Workers a Closer Look

2. JoAnn Wypijewski on the Meaning of the Antiwar Resolution Passed by the

3. "Strategy for Labor with Rev. Jesse Jackson, President Rainbow Push
Coalition" and "A 'Rapid' Return of All U.S. Troops from Iraq with Gene
Bruskin, Co-Convener, U.S. Labor Against the War"

4. Movement in the Labor Movement? - A Pacifica Radio Special Report on the
AFL-CIO Convention


1. Tour of Iraqi Labor Leaders Gives American Workers a Closer Look

by Nancy Romer and Michael Zweig August 2005


For two weeks in June, six Iraqi union leaders from three major labor
federations toured the US sponsored by U.S. Labor Against the War. USLAW, a
coalition of over 100 labor organizations ranging from state federations to
locals and regional groups, organized events in 26 cities.


The main goal was to personalize the struggles of Iraqi workers by having
Iraqi labor leaders speak for themselves, expressing their opposition to the
occupation, privatization of industry, and massive unemployment. The tour
showed that there is another force present in Iraq other than the suicide
bombers and U.S. military, ready to build a democratic society free from
occupation and terror.


The three trade union federations represented on the tour were the
Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI), the General Union
of Oil employees (GUOE), and the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU).


Two leaders from each group kept grueling schedules that had them meeting
with groups of union members, anti-war activists, and congressional leaders
from across the country.


CONTINUING THE FIGHT  (Complete article at



2. JoAnn Wypijewski on the Meaning of the Antiwar Resolution Passed by the


(excerpted from her latest dispatch from the AFL-CIO convention in Chicago)


And now for some bits of good news. Historic news. On Tuesday, July 26, the
AFL-CIO convention did something organized labor had never done before: it
opposed a war during wartime, and called for the withdrawal of American
troops. The resolution opposing the war in Iraq was not the best or the most
fluent. Cobbled from 18 resolutions that had been offered for consideration,
it read as if it were written by at least as many hands. The remarkable
thing about those resolutions? Not one that had been submitted for the
convention's consideration supported the war. Not one was solely a simple
statement supporting the troops. All called for withdrawal, the only
difference being over timing. All came from Central Labor Councils.


3. Strategy for Labor with Rev. Jesse Jackson, President Rainbow Push

Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report - National Edition

Produced by Mimi Rosenberg and Ken Nash presents A Building Bridges AFL-CIO
Convention Special

In the midst of anger & angst among the delegates at the AFL-CIO Convention
over the pull-out by the Change to Win Coalition, the Rev. Jackson delivered
a blockbuster speech at the Convention which brought the house down. He
warned that debate within labor must not prevent cooperation within the
labor movement to fight the right wing assault on the working class. His
most resounding response from the Convention Delegates came when he
repeatedly demanded that the "Troops must come home".


A "Rapid" Return of All U.S. Troops from Iraq with Gene Bruskin,
Co-Convener, U.S. Labor Against the War


In a major change of course, the AFL-CIO Convention delegates voted

for a resolution calling for a "rapid" return of all U.S. troops from Iraq.

had originally been supporting a much weaker resolution and had tried to
delay the 

vote until the last day of the Convention. Pressure from the ranks had
scored a 

significant victory. Bruskin discusses the meaning and significance of the

and how continued pressure by the rank and file is needed to continue

struggle against the war on Iraq.

(To download or play this 28:55 minute program go to radio4all download



Download from

l.mp3 )


[Jackson's speech begins 1:50 into the recording; Bruskin's interview begin
19:07 into the recording.]


Pacifica Stations may go to Audioport "Weekly programs section"

dtd 7-30-05


4. Movement in the Labor Movement? - A Pacifica Radio Special Report on the
AFL-CIO Convention


Two giant unions, the Teamsters and the Service Employees International
Union have withdrawn from the previously 56 member labor federation, the
AFL-CIO.  UNITE-HERE and the United Food and Commercial Workers the Laborers
and the Farm Workers Union (who recently joined the insurgent Change to Win
Coalition, boycotted the Constitutional Convention.  This is of course a
major development within the organized labor movement.   But, is it merely
rearranging the deck chairs of the Titanic as the ranks of organized labor
continue to shrink?  We'll hear from the protagonists, provide analysis and
ask the real questions left to be answered, where is the voice of the rank
and file and how are they to be mobilized to affect their class interests.
You'll hear voices on both sides of the debate, independent commentators and
analysis of the current crisis in labor.

(To download or listen to this 89 minute special go to

http://www.radio4all.net/proginfo.php?id=13486 )


U.S. Labor Against the War - www.uslaboragainstwar.org - 1718 M St., NW
#153, Washington, DC 20036.


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